The Singing River Trail will be a 200+ mile greenway system that strengthens regional bonds, and creates new health and wellness, educational, economic, tourism, and entrepreneurial opportunities for the people and communities of North Alabama.
In 2018, the Land Use Committee of Launch 2035, formed of representatives from federal, state, county, municipal, and private agencies, developed the Singing River Trail Master Plan over the course of a 15-month period. The Master Plan is a guidance document for implementing the Singing River Trail across North Alabama.
* Estimated annual benefits of the 150-mile trail, extrapolated from the initial 3-county study.
Paula Nelson, an artist who is an Eastern Band Cherokee citizen contributed sketches of Te-lah-nay in three different concept drawings. Paula incorporated an ancient iconic symbol of “water as medicine” into each drawing. Te-lah-nay was also thought of as a healer for her people, so Paula’s decision to place her at the river makes cultural sense.
The river is a place of ritual for spiritual cleansing as well as physical cleansing. Paula’s career spans decades of studying iconography across tribal lines and time periods including pre-and post-contact Native American symbology. Tattooed on her wrist, she carries the symbol of water as medicine.
Paula’s work combined with our design team ultimately led to the logo for the Singing River Trail.
It made sense to incorporate a symbol for medicine into the bike trail logo since that is the essence of the Singing River Trail: Bringing medicine to the North Alabama region to encourage physical wellness, mental wellness and spiritual wellness.